In a world that often drowns out women’s voices, podcasting has become a space where women get to speak first and, if they get shouted over, have the editing power to still get their message across to a wide audience. It’s a medium where presentation, length and style are as unique as the host, and its free-for-listeners format levels the playing field in a way that other mentor or education opportunities can’t match.
Through narrative artistry and data-backed research, the women behind the 10 podcasts on this list teach us by example how to powerfully speak up as they spark controversial conversations, delicately traverse painful topics, boldly walk toward hot button issues and take charge of interviews. Among them are experts, professors, authors, entrepreneurs, therapists and storytellers—each with their own brand of brilliance.
Discover worldviews you’ve never experienced and gain insight for a happier personal life by subscribing to these influential thought leaders’ podcasts today.
Everything Happens with Kate Bowler
A historian, author and associate professor at Duke Divinity School, Kate has a magical way of weaving everyday stories into life-changing lessons that are rooted in academics and fascinating interviews with guests. Named after her book, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, which chronicles what it was like to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 35 in a culture that treats tragedies like a test of character, each episode features a deep dive into what can be learned from the darkest seasons in our lives. Kate is an expert on how to live a beautiful, full life even when the future feels uncertain—a timely gift for a world living through a pandemic.
How’s Work? with Esther Perel
Esteemed relationship therapist Esther invites listeners into her office to eavesdrop on recordings of real therapy sessions between coworkers and colleagues who are navigating workplace dynamics and conflict. A spinoff of her award-winning show Where Should We Begin?, which reveals raw and intimate counseling sessions between couples, How’s Work? takes the approach that no one leaves their relationship habits at the office door. Esther seamlessly helps her clients see how their disagreements over contracts or tension in a family business can all be traced back to the relational ties that bind (or separate) us.
Journey to Launch with Jamila Souffrant
Jamila is on a mission to help everyday people gain financial freedom. After making her mark as a blogger chronicling her journey to saving $85,000 in 12 months, the podcast became her new home for financial wisdom, savings tips and goal setting. Jamila uses her experience as a certified financial education instructor to help listeners navigate the confusing waters of investing, credit scores, emergency funds, taxes and early retirement, but more than that, each episode is a reminder to dream big, design a plan and then make it happen.
Professional Troublemaker with Luvvie Ajayi Jones
It’s not that the outspoken and brave ones among us are fearless—they’re just willing to choose courage in moments of fear. Through truth-telling and candid conversations with people on the rise and those already in the mix, Luvvie shows listeners how to be change agents and trailblazers in their fields and how to push past moments of self-doubt in order to do scary things that make the world a better place. With Luvvie’s encouragement, discover how you can rock the boat, take action and learn how to “get into good trouble.”
Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris
Mother, daughter and grandmother sit down for these captivating conversations that don’t hold back when it comes to social and cultural issues. With an intergenerational approach, Jada, Willow and Adrienne tackle tough topics like the mom-shaming epidemic and sexual consent, and invite celebrity and expert guests to weigh in with their own perspectives. Discover new points of view and challenge yourself to grow as you listen in on discussions about some of the most provocative topics of the day.
Ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs get their start? Kindra, SUCCESS magazine’s Chief Storytelling Officer and best-selling author, chats with both established and rising stars in the business world to gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build a successful brand. Listen in to hear the stories behind success that you won’t hear anywhere else and discover how you can follow in their achieving footsteps.
Terrible, Thanks for Asking with Nora McInerny
Grief isn’t funny but Nora’s quick-witted and self-deprecating hosting style somehow give us permission to laugh through tears. Her tender narration as she interviews guests about their real-life tragedies and heartaches is a mix of lighthearted banter and gut-wrenching empathy as she listens to the retelling of people’s most painful moments. Having lost her husband when he was only 35, a baby and her father all within the span of six weeks, Nora gets grief, and that gives guests and listeners alike the freedom to listen in comfortably and learn hard lessons about how to survive or offer support when the unthinkable happens.
The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile
Whether you’re hearing about the Enneagram for the first time or ready to dig into stances, triads and orientation to time, Suzanne is the perfect guide for the journey. The author behind The Road Back to You and The Path Between Us, Suzanne is the go-to expert in the field of Enneagram research and a sought-after speaker. Her wisdom, experience and insight are unmatched, but it’s her compassionate voice and skillful teaching style that masterfully turn a complex topic into an accessible tool that can improve your relationships and expand your self-awareness.
The Marie Forleo Podcast with Marie Forleo
It’s true, Marie is gifted at teaching creatives and entrepreneurs how to make their brands stand out, but she’s also a beacon reminding people to show up and bring their unique gifts to the table. With a whimsical sense of humor, Marie shows people how to authentically infuse their personality and heart into their work, and pushes back against the belief that there is a one-size-fits-all template for success. Episodes cover a wide range of topics—like career advice, healthy living, happiness and failure—but they all lead to helping listeners find the inspiration they need to create better businesses and personal lives they love.
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
She’s the voice behind the vulnerability movement and the research professor whose TED Talk shook the internet with her studies on shame. In her unapologetically Texan accent, Brené teaches listeners how to set healthy boundaries, speak up for the marginalized and own up to their defense and coping mechanisms. Some episodes include interviews with celebrities who require no introduction, while others are simply full of Brené’s wisdom and decades’ worth of data as she teaches listeners to lean into courage, compassion and, of course, vulnerability, as they embrace this messy, imperfect, beautiful life.
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Sarah Paulk is a freelance writer known for her interviews with the thought leaders behind multimillion- and multibillion-dollar brands. Her cover stories and feature articles have appeared in Success from Home, Direct Selling News, Empowering Women and more. Sarah is also an author and ghostwriter who helps her clients bring their memories and research to life in book form. Connect with her at her website www.sarahpaulk.com.